An assessment of the nutritive value of browsed plants in Makurdi, Nigeria

  • J.A. Ibeawuchi Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Nigeria
  • F.O. Ahamefule Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Nigeria
  • J.E. Oche University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria


Twenty-five plant species were identified as useful cattle feedstuff during peak dry season in Makurdi, Benue State. Leguminous species accounted for over 48% of the browse. The browsed plants were classified on the basis of frequency of browsing into those heavily, moderately or occasionally browsed by cattle and analysed for chemical constituents. The samples showed high nutritive potentials with crude protein values of 14% in 92% of the samples. The lowest crude protein value was in Mucuna poggei (10.9%) while the highest was in Lonchocarpus cyanescens (31.7%). The heavily browsed group was superior to the other groups in protein content (21.4%) and in calculated in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) (50.6%). The IVOMD values ranged from 32.7 to 52.4%. The relationship between IVOMD and crude protein was negative and non-significant (r = - 0.22). Generally, the mineral content was high with the heavily browsed species containing higher calcium (1.52%) and phosphorus levels (0.35%) than either the moderately (1.22% Ca and 0.22% P) or the occasionally (1.15% Ca and 0.32% P) browsed groups. The vital role of browse as a feedstuff for cattle especially in the dry season and the need to propagate them in plantations in the Middle Belt zone were emphasized.

[Niger Agric. J. 33 (2002): 128-135]

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eISSN: 0300-368X